Teaser Tuesday

The book A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own has been professionally edited and will be published this year. To pique interest, I will share tidbits from the manuscript with you each Tuesday.

Chapter 11 – Finding a Guru/Finding a Murder

“Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” 

 – Dylan Thomas 

Life has a funny way of trying to show us our past experiences. I’m sure there’s someone with a fancy degree who could explain it to me, but I’m really quite intrigued how my own being, and God, guided me to the real question: was I willing to put in the time and effort it would take to decipher my past? I was learning to listen to the signs and realizing the unexpected ways in which they could present themselves.  

Years earlier, on a beautiful sunny Northwest day, my sister, Jamie, and I packed up our kids, loaded up an array of snacks, and headed to the river, blown-up inner tubes in tow. We picked a park on the Columbia River so we would all have an extended shoreline to enjoy. My sister and I grabbed our tubes, slathered our bodies in suntan lotion, and began our float on the tube rounds that were hot from the sun. The kids screamed and played together. It was so beautiful watching cousins enjoying each other.  

Our tubs were floating and spinning as we watched the kids play. My tube spun me around and I faced away from the shoreline. My sister playfully reached her foot out to my inner tube to spring me back around and then hold me in place close with her toes.  

I looked down at her feet and froze, stricken with raw panic. I kicked her away with a hard shove.   

She was puzzled, to say the least. “Jodie, what’s that about?”  

Hell, I didn’t know. All I knew was that my body went into fight or flight in that moment.  

Over the years, I thought back on that day, trying to determine what had caused me to respond to her bare feet in such a primeval way. At that time, my sister and I had managed to stay close, which was a very difficult thing to do in a family like ours, but the days and hours of my life were driven by a wind to explore the past. I was not able to avoid it. 

To do that, I had to be more aware of my own pain.  

After some searching, I met an amazing counselor named Margaret. She was the therapist who helped me initiate change and start exploring my past with tools of the trade. I had been to several counselors before her, but none like this. Margaret and her cohorts believe the need to foster relationship with their clients, that the therapeutic alliance you have with your counselor can act as a model for how you may heal in other relationships as well as provide you with a safe space to explore new ways of relating. The other counselors/psychiatrists I’d seen were well-educated and book smart but helped me very little. I needed to trust someone, and Margaret built that trust in me. This relationship with her began the next many years of exploration and the courage to try.  

As I said, life continues to throw curve balls at you. It isn’t like, “Wow, I can tuck myself away in a room and heal.” I wish it were that easy, but it isn’t.  

. . . to be continued . . .

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